It took us a while to work out how to do things and where to put everything, partly because what everyone had done was all really different. We overcame this by having more of a collage effect than originally planned, using the differences to our advantage, with a really mixed media outcome.
When our group met on Friday to put together everything we had, we realised that some people didn’t really have enough yet. So we decided to come together again on Monday to finalise everything.
In addition to the stitched bunting that I’ve been experimenting with, I made some actual bunting just out of calico with lettering spelling out ‘Cardiff’.
I also printed out the photos I took again and painted and stitched over them.
I printed them out in black and white in order to make the coloured bunting more visible, and to challenge the idea of it being a hidden aspect in the city.
In these ones I just painted without the stitching, in order to have more of a mixed media finish on the final outcome.
Here I roughly stitched on the black outlines of this lovely tudor building to subtly make it stand out slightly more than the buildings around it, again to contrast the ‘hidden city’ idea.
This one was my favourite one I did. The photo was already representing the juxtaposition between the harsh metal fence and the daffodils growing through so I just accentuated it by using a free embroidery foot for the greenery and then hand stitched the yellow flowers.
In order to prepare for today’s lecture, we were given two pieces of text to read. I had a look a couple of days ago and found one really easy to read and understand (and took notes and highlighted it while reading) however the other one was much more difficult. It always helps me when reading a complicated piece of text to highlight the key phrases as I go along, which then helps me to summarise it for myself once I had finished reading but even this was easier said than done with this one!
Although it took me several reads to get it, I think I eventually managed to get the gist of what it was all about.
Today’s lecture was about the application of technology to the body. I found what Ashley was saying about Oscar Pistorius really interesting because I wasn’t familiar with the debate about his participation in the 2012 Olympics, and only knew of his name due to his recent trial.
I’ve looked into it further since coming home and have found that the articles online on the subject are very mixed in their opinions.
One from The Telegraph for example has a very positive feel to it and celebrates that he is the “first double amputee to compete at the Olympics” and looks at the argument from his point of view, stating that “He said he wanted to be judged as a competitor just like his peers.”
However, Ben Rushgrove, writing for The Guardian, has a very different take on the debate: “it was wrong in my opinion that Oscar was allowed to take part in the Olympics”, “The whole point of the Paralympics is to have races that are fair”.
Looking even further into this, I found out that the author of this article, Rushgrove, is himself a paralympic runner with cerebral palsy. This made me realise that he has a first hand experience of that world and can empathise with Pistorius. I understand now that the subject is likely to be one which is close to his heart and is personal to him. It is interesting to get the opinion of someone who this really matters to.
Oscar Pisctorius at the 2012 Olympics in London
I drew up a quick sketch of what I want my final square to look like for me to follow when making it:
I’ve also included swatches of fabric and paint which I plan to use.
I was happy to have found these fabrics because I feel they represent the actual colours of the bunting in my photograph.
I did the design on a smaller scale:
I’m really pleased with this and the overall effect is better than I was expecting it to be.
I realised afterwards that there is a spelling mistake in my initial design and because I followed this exactly, the stitched version also includes this mistake, I will therefore amend this when I do the final, larger one. This actually works out better because there are the same amount of letters in both words, meaning I can have an equal amount of flags on each string.
Today I’ve been looking at how to put lettering onto the bunting. I’ve decided to have one letter per flag and to hand sew these on. At first I was thinking about free embroidery, however considering the size of the flags, this would be likely to be too difficult and fiddly, and result in unreadable letters – which defeats the point of a tourist aid.
At first I used a thin, black embroidery thread and capital letters and then tried again in a thicker sewing thread in lower case.
I preferred the upper case lettering but in the thicker thread. I think the boldness of these will be more effective on a poster/map which is intended to be read in public.
Today was another complicated lecture which involved thinking about things which I’ve never really given much thought into before.
Affordance is the possibility of an action between an object and a person, for example in a door handle.
The idea that we know to pull the handle down is perception affordance.
Norman (1999) says that “the designer cares more about what actions the user perceives to be possible than what is true”.
I thought a little bit about how this can be manipulated and confused, simply by using this theory that the user will do what they think to be possible, even if it isn’t.
Now that I’ve decided that Castle Arcade is the place that I want to really focus on, I’ve started to do some experimentation with how to represent the bunting. I know that I want to use stitch because I feel that this is the best skill I have that I can bring to the group.
First I tried some free machine embroidery using a black embroidery thread. Although I have done a lot of this in the past, I have never done it onto paper and I found this really difficult. After several attempts I managed to get a couple of lines of bunting. I am pleased with the results however they weren’t as controlled as I had hoped them to be.
Next I moved on to using a straight foot for the same idea and, although this was more time-consuming (because of having to constantly change the direction of the stitch), I feel that this gave a much better result – it is much neater and looks a lot more professional, but at the same time still has the hand-drawn, ‘scribbly’ effect I wanted. This will be the technique that I’ll stick with.
After sorting out the basic line of the bunting, I looked at how to put the colour onto the flags, as this was one of the reasons I was attracted to this imagery in the first place. I experimented with applique of fabric (which again I had never done onto paper), watercolour and oil pastel.
The applique was a lot easier than I had expected and gave a really nice effect which I feel represents the real bunting well, especially because I tried to use a similar fabric.
The watercolour was equally effective, although I will use a more watered down mix next time to get a much less intense colour.
The oil colour was too much of a powerful colour and also isn’t solid enough.
I’ve decided to use a mix of watercolour and fabric applique in the final design, which I hope will give a nice mixed media feel.